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Gambling has an annual social cost of A$7bn to Australian Government

By Manuel Marti
Gambling harm costs the Australian state of Victoria A$7bn annually, according to a recent study by the State Gambling Foundation.

The recently-published report, carried out by The Central Queensland University and commissioned by the Victoria Gambling Foundation, has said gambling harm cost the state government almost A$7bn for the 2014-2015 financial year.

The greatest expenditure went towards family and relationship problems, where Victoria State spent A$2.2bn between 2014 and 2015.

Moreover, emotional and psychological issues, and personal financial losses had a social cost during the one-year period of A$1.6bn and A$1.3bn, respectively.

Additionally, the government funded new research, regulation and support services worth over AUD1bn. Lost productivity, work-related costs and crime added to A$700m.

While previous studies have merely focused on severe-harm victims and problem gamblers, this report shows gambling issues could impact all type of players. Therefore it explains such great spending figure.

This research estimates approximately 85% of gambling harm in Victoria is associated with low- and moderate-risk gamblers, and only 15% with people who experience severe gambling harm.

Lead Author and Associate Professor, Matthew Browne, said: “The study shows that in 2014-15, low- and moderate-risk gambling made a significant contribution to the social cost of gambling harm in Victoria at A$4.3bn.

“During the same period, the cost of high-risk gambling, sometimes called ‘problem gambling’, totalled A$2.36bn.”
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